Eric DeCosta: Ravens “probably have to” franchise Matthew Judon if no deal

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A report over the weekend indicated that a franchise tag is in the future for Ravens linebacker Matthew Judon and nothing General Manager Eric DeCosta said at a Tuesday press conference from the Scouting Combine made that seem unlikely.

DeCosta said the team has “had good conversations” with the agents for PFT’s No. 25 free agent, but that it remains to be seen how far those will progress. The two sides have until March 12 to work something out and DeCosta suggested a tag will indeed be coming if they don’t come to an agreement.

“If that’s what we have to do, then we’ll probably have to do it,” DeCosta said, via Jeff Zrebiec of “But there’s other options as well on the table, [a] long-term deal being something that we would love to get accomplished. So we’ll have to see how it all kind of works out.”

If the Ravens do tag Judon, it wouldn’t guarantee his return for the 2020 season. We saw Frank Clark and Dee Ford traded after being tagged last offseason and there’s been word that it’s a possibility the Ravens will explore if they do wind up tagging Judon in the coming weeks.